A year ago, our family was in Disney World, splashing around the pool at the Polynesian Resort, not a care in the world. (H had a work conference so this was such a blessing that we could go without paying for most of the trip.)
Then the call came in. H’s best friend’s sister, with whom he had grown up and known since tiny childhood, had died, completely unexpectedly, from a random blood clot; she was 38. One minute, I was happily watching my children frolic in the spurting fountain sprays, and the next minute I tried desperately to hold all three of my children at once to make sure they were OK. I shuttled them up to our room where we prayed fervently for friends who are family to us.
So a year later to the day, a shocking email crossed my computer: the mother of one of my son’s football teammates had died, unexpectedly, from an aneurysm; she was in her mid thirties. Earlier that day, she was happily delivering invitations to her son’s 8-year-old birthday party, and later that afternoon, she passed away on her bathroom floor, only to be found by her five-year-old son. She leaves behind this sweet child, a four-year-old daughter and a recently-turned eight-year-old who attended his mother’s funeral instead of his own birthday party.
Please know that I share this story not to be morbid, depressing or melodramatic, but to let you know that I firmly believe those events happening on the same exact day one year apart can mean something to me personally. They stand as a wake-up call to me–a reminder that we truly only have today.
We don’t know what God plans for us tomorrow, or in the next moment, for that matter. And while we all know this intellectually, an event like this reminds me in such a visceral way. In my hustle-bustle, hurry-worry world, I forget that tomorrow just might not be for me, or for someone I hold dear. I skitter along mindlessly, stopping to feel sorry for myself (or bitter) when painful events occur, but forgetting the big picture.
I used to write more about the story God is writing with my life. Today during church I realized how far I’ve gotten away from that, and potentially why that is so difficult for me to address. I believe it boils down to my inability to believe that God could actually delight in me.
Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.”
I spent an entire year with that verse taped on my bathroom mirror, but it didn’t sink in, did it? Perhaps I’d better stick it back up there where I can remember, rejoice and believe.